Classmates of girl stabbed to death in a Texas laundromat reignite appeal in 33-year-old cold case 

Jennifer Sue Delgado, 7, died on June 6, 1988, after being stabbed in a laundromat in San Antonio by a man angered because a soda vending machine wouldn’t work

Classmates and friends of a seven-year-old girl stabbed to death in a laundromat in Texas almost 33 years ago have renewed an appeal for information as they seek to mount a memorial at the site of her murder.

Jennifer Sue Delgado was helping her 25-year-old mother Melida wash clothes at a laundromat opposite her family home in San Antonio on June 6, 1988, when she was stabbed in the stomach by a man angered at a vending machine that would not work.

Her mother, who was also stabbed in the shoulder during the attack but survived her injuries, told police that they did not know the suspect.

He was described as a white man in his late teens to early 20s but had fled the scene before police arrived and has never been tracked down.

Jennifer’s former classmate at Westwood Terrace elementary school, Christopher Palmer, this week revealed that he still thinks about his young friend more than three decades on. 

He hopes that a permanent tribute to the seven-year-old can be established at the credit union that now stands on the site of the laundromat.

‘I am hoping that something can be done to put a permanent memorial at the site of an elementary school classmate that was taken from us way too soon, just across the highway from Lackland,’ he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

‘I remember this one red dress she had. It was like a – kind of like a Mexican-style dress and whenever I think of her, I think of that dress,’ Palmer told KHOU 11 of Jennifer.

Jennifer's classmates are calling for a memorial at the site of her murder

Jennifer’s classmates are calling for a memorial at the site of her murder

Classmate Christopher Palmer as asked city council members to erect a tribute

Classmate Christopher Palmer as asked city council members to erect a tribute

‘Unfortunately, another memory I have is just the day that I remember my parents turning on the news and hearing what happened and being so young I was eight, I knew she had passed away but at that age it didn’t really hit me’.

On the night of her daughter’s death, Melida Delgado said that the suspect had come into the laundromat at about 8pm to buy a soda but became enraged, pulled out a knife, and stabbed her and her daughter when the machine wouldn’t work.

‘After becoming angry with the vending machine, the white male went to Jennifer Delgado and stabbed her once in the abdomen,’ police said in an update on the cold case in 2014. 

‘(He) then stabbed Jennifer’s mother before fleeing.’

Her father had been at home across the street at the time of the attack.

According to KENS5, Jennifer ran across the road to her father after being stabbed but collapsed in front of the house.

Her father ran outside on seeing she was injured and called for help.

She and her mother were both rushed to Wilford Hall Hospital, but Jennifer died of her injuries.

Witnesses said that the suspect fled in a Silver Honda, driven by another individual.

‘Talking to her (Jennifer’s) mother, she didn’t know who the person was so it’s not like there was any kind of – anything against the family in particular – it was just I don’t know, what would cause someone to – you know they’re trying to get a soda from the vending machine, it doesn’t work,’ Palmer said.

‘I’m just going to stab someone, what was going on in that person’s mind,’ .

Palmer added that if the suspect cannot be tracked down, he hopes that city council members will eventually agree to the small memorial that has been refused in previous years.

He has previously had vigils at the scene with other classmates and has worked to keep the memory of his classmate alive.

‘If we can’t have closure finding the killer, this in a way just provides somewhat of a legacy that those who knew her and even those that don’t will know who she was,’ Palmer continued.

San Antonio police had previous reopened the cold case in April 2012, but no further information was unearthed, and the suspect’s identity still remains a mystery.

As there is no statute of limitations on murder, if the suspect is found, he can be sent to prison.

If the public has any information that could lead to an arrest in the murder of Jennifer Delgado, call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-7867. 

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